Monday, February 21, 2011

Students with Vital Voices

An excellent photo essay takes one inside South Los Angeles Manual Arts High which has experienced a learning renaissance. Its art department has tapped the creative energies of students by using street art to express their social and political voices.

In the past three years, the campus has become home to museum quality work by dozens of street artists, some internationally famous, who also work with students on projects.

"The school's 3,400 students can't take art until their sophomore year. Because most have never had an art class before, Ayala says it’s a mistake to start them off with an analysis of traditional fine art. “They’re not going to get Monet’s “Haystacks” right off the bat, but you can take interesting street art and graffiti and create a bridge into fine art.”

For example, there is a "spiritual" hallway at the school with a tree and iPod-style silhouettes at its base. This mural is a focal point around which students have created more perspectives around the theme.

Education is what is left after you've forgotten everything you've learned. - Albert Einstein

At Manual High, chances are students will never forget their work around these visceral projects collaborating with creative teachers and artists in the community.

Enjoy the full photo essay at Good here.